And there has been good news for both the movies – not only critically, but also at the box-office. Though there couldn’t be two more different films, both in scale and form, to chug slowly towards a happy ending.
The budget of Dunkirk was less than $100 million. Dunkirk earned $64 million at the domestic American box-office in its first five days of release. Despite the release of Valerian and The Emoji Movie this week, Dunkirk is expected to gallop past $100 million and perhaps even end with a domestic gross of over $200 million. Inception did that in July 2010 and ended up as one of the highest all-time grosser ever. Also, Dunkirk isn’t a typical tentpole summer release. Warner Bros. looks at it as a serious Oscar contender and possibly Nolan’s first Best Director nod. To release an almost dialogue-less, artful recreation of war and expect it to make ‘Nolan’ numbers is risky – and is now paying off.
Christopher Nolan remains one of the only ‘star’ directors in Hollywood who can pull audiences and box-office collections on his name alone. This is an ensemble film, too, with no real standout acting performances. Yet, it is ruling popcorn season. It was projected to earn just $40m on the weekend but outdid those numbers. The hype around its IMAX loyalty and old-school action tone seem to have paid off. It even earned another $56 million overseas across the UK and Asian markets, with people paying extra for the IMAX experience. Nolan is one of the last directors standing, given that even Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese suffered box-office disappointments last year.
Oscar nominations expected: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Sound Design, Best Sound Mixing, Best Supporting Actor (Mark Rylance, again).
LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA
For a film that was in Censor hell for most of this year, Anankrita Shrivastava’s spunky Bhopal-based movie has packed in the audiences quite impressively over the last week. Proof of its performance and accessibility lies in its collections, which have been increasing through word-of-mouth and positive reviews.
It has touched INR 10 crore in its first five days, after it opened last Friday with 1.22 crore, and picked up steadily. Its only real competition was Dunkirk, and perhaps Munna Michael. With Indu Sarkar, Raag Desh and Mubarakan expected to take over the weekend box-office in India now, Lipstick is still expected to have shows. It joins other successful female-centric, small-town, offbeat films like Anaarkali of Aarah this year. Lipstick’s budget was, incidentally, INR 6 crores (5 for production + 1 for advertising).